Shoulder patch - 3rd Infantry brigade - 1st Canadian Division

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Nominal rolls

A Nominal Roll is simply a list of all personnel officially on strength of a unit at a specific point in time. As the Battalion’s composition changed throughout the course of the war, the Nominal Roll would be in an almost constant state of flux. How many Nominal Rolls the 15th Battalion had is unknown and research  to-date has produced two complete rolls: the 1915 Nominal Roll of the original 15th Battalion of the 1st Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It records the basic information on each soldier – Regimental number, rank, name, Corps, name and address of next of kin, place of birth, and the place and date taken on strength.

When the 15th Battalion was formed at Valcartier 1914, it was allocated a block of regimental numbers – 27001 to 28500 – to assign to its original members. With the exception of a small handful of attached Army Medical Corps personnel, all the men on the original Nominal Roll have numbers that fall within the allocated range.

Approximately 970 positions on the Battalion’s wartime strength establishment were filled by men from the 48th Highlanders. The balance came from the 97th Algonquin Rifles from Sudbury and Cobalt, the 31st Gray Regiment from Owen Sound and several other pre-war militia regiments.

By war’s end, men from over sixty CEF Battalions and units made up the ranks of the 15th Battalion as mounting casualties and reinforcements inevitably changed its once Toronto centric composition into a pan Canadian one.

The 29 Nov 1918 Nominal Roll lists those on strength of the battalion at that point and their disposition. The number and variety of non-15th Battalion ORIGINAL Regimental numbers reflects how much the Unit’s composition had changed by the war’s end.

All of the nominal rolls below are in PDF format and most are searchable. To find a name, open the PDF and use your PDF client to search the document.

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